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More than Human Territories: Creating Transnational Commodity Chains in Contemporary China

Michael Hathaway, Simon Fraser University
Friday, March 14, 2014 - 3:30pm
Denny Hall 401

Michael Hathaway (Anthropology, Simon Fraser University) draws on Foucault’s understandings of biopolitics and biopower to examine more-than-human assemblages. In particular, he explores a particular economy in Southwest China, the harvest of wild mushrooms, which has become the region’s most important agricultural export. These mushrooms, called matsutake, present a number of challenges. Although the fresh mushrooms are highly valued in Japan, they attract a range of non-human species, from deer to insects, which humans contend with and accommodate in a variety of ways. Matsutake, now officially listed as endangered in China and influenced in forest conservation politics, are increasingly linked to forms of environmental governance. Hathaway's book, Environmental Winds: Making the Global in Southwest China was recently published by the University of California Press. This talk stems from his long-term collaborative research with the Matsutake Worlds Research Group.

Sponsored by the Biological Futures in a Globalized World’s “Biosecurities, Reterritorializations, and Para-Human Populations” series.